In a major makeover bid to arrest the fading sheen of public broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio, Prasar Bharati has embarked on a hunt for new faces and new voices. "Acting on a large number of complaints on quality issues, we have started a process of inducting fresh newspersons in DD and AIR, besides a complete review of the existing ones," a senior Prasar Bharati official told HT.
"Hindi in an English accent and vice-versa, dull monotones, tired-looking faces... Such complaints have been growing against news anchors and announcers in DD and AIR in recent times. The difference in news presentation compared with private enterprises is palpable," he said.
A panel of independent experts is already going through the induction and review process, and making suitable recommendations. The process has been underway for the last two months and may end soon.
"People can expect a lot of changes very soon as the new induction and review system have already started. It will now be based entirely on merit. Even the present crop of faces and voices of DD and AIR will have to apply again and go through the merit-based review system," the official added.
DD and AIR also need fresh review of news content, which has negatively impacted its credibility rather than just the government line. DD and AIR are free from profit motive, and has more freedom to air news with social relevance.